Morning Poll: Does Review of Phoenix Kidnapping Stats Vindicate Former Police Chief Jack Harris

Former Phoenix police Chief Jack Harris was forced out of office because of allegations that his department inflated kidnapping statistics to obtain extra federal bucks. However, a panel reviewing the Phoenix's kidnapping numbers found that no fraud was committed and the numbers weren't inflated.

In fact, the panel found there were twice as many cases -- 668 instead of 358 -- identified that fit the criteria of a border-related kidnappings during the year in question.

So, is Harris vindicated?

On the one hand, he didn't lie about the number of kidnappings in the city to get more federal funding. On the other, his office managed to bungle the numbers so badly that only about half of the kidnappings in Phoenix were recorded as such. Not to mention the several other SNAFUs that occurred within the department under his watch (Richard Chrisman, we're looking in your direction).

The panel attributes the mistake to the PPD's aging, and very limited, computer system -- officers logging reports can only enter one crime code -- leaving them to choose between several possible choices and often leaving kidnapping off the list.

Harris didn't lie, it turns out, but is he vindicated even though the numbers were still way off?

We want to know what you think -- cast your vote below.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
James King
Contact: James King

Latest Stories